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News ::
BTL:Environmentalists Charge Legislation to Prevent Forest Fires is... (english)
08 Nov 2003
...a Gift to the Logging Industry. Interview with Sean Cosgrove, of the Sierra Club, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Environmentalists Charge Legislation to Prevent Forest Fires is a Gift to the Logging Industry

Interview with Sean Cosgrove, of the Sierra Club, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

As wildfires raged across southern California, the U.S. Senate passed a forestry bill in late October that would relax environmental regulations and limit judicial review on tree-thinning projects on 20 million acres of federal lands. Thus far, the fires have claimed the lives of 20 people, burned more than 700,000 acres -- an area the size of Rhode Island -- and destroyed 3,500 homes.

Supporters of the bill say its provisions will both protect old growth forests and help prevent a recurrence of the devastation to people and property caused by this year's inferno. Up to half the $760 million authorized in the legislation could be spent on federal lands near communities most at risk.

Environmentalists agree on the need to thin underbrush and small trees to help prevent wildfires, but they fear the legislation amounts to a gift to the lumber industry. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Sean Cosgrove, the Sierra Club's national forest policy specialist, about why his organization opposes forest initiatives put forward by both Congress and the Bush administration, and about alternative policies that his organization maintains would actually protect both forest communities and old growth forests.

For more information on pending forest legislation call the Sierra Club at (202) 547-1141 or visit their website at

Related links

*"Forest Protection & Restoration campaign," The Sierra Club,

*"Wildfires 101: What you should know about wildfires," The Sierra Club,

*"Debunking the "Healthy Forests Initiative," The Sierra Club,

*"Trial By Fire" by Marc Ash,, Nov. 4 2003

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
2003 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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